CALLUM Gosse completed a hat-trick of tries to help table-toppers Old Leamingtonians overcome visitors Alcester 25-10 in their Midlands Three West (South) fixture.
Alcester led 5-3 at half-time, but the hosts finally sealed the victory with Gosse crossing three times and William Andrews also adding a try.
The game’s opening score came on 10 minutes when Alcester captain Max Biltcliffe crashed over the line after a successful pick and drive attempt, with the support of his powerful front row counterparts. The conversion attempt was missed.
The game remained an evenly matched but competitive affair until Alcester were forced down to 14 men after Nigel Burrows was shown a yellow card for back-chatting to the referee.
The visitors started making silly mistakes and were showing some signs of frustration leading to a climbing penalty count of their own. Minutes later, Harry Reynolds slotted a penalty kick with the ball hitting the posts but falling the right side of the uprights.
As soon as Alcester were back to full strength, OLs were shown a yellow card and played the remainder of the half a man down.
Old Leams took the lead for the first time in the game 10 minutes into the second half with a try from Gosse, converted by Reynolds.
Alcester fought back, and it was powerhouse Burrows who levelled the scores as he crossed the whitewash.
However, OLs were quick to take back their lead. After a short period of pressure, the home side broke the defence and Gosse dived over the line. The sun sitting low in the sky made visibility difficult for the kickers and the remaining conversion attempts were slotted wide.
As Alcester began to tire, OLs sealed their lead with two more tries from Gosse and Andrews, their final try also bringing in the final whistle.
OLs’ seventh win from seven keeps them top of the table, seven points ahead of Ledbury, as they prepare to head to Bromyard on Saturday.